The Ruining by Anna Collomore

The Ruining by Anna Collomore - YA new release 2013Book Title/Author: The Ruining by Anna Collomore
Publisher/Release Date
: Razorbill – February 7th 2013
Genre: YA Thriller
Series: No
Other Books From Author: None — The Ruining is her debut title.

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I received this from Penguin in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!





Annie can’t wait to leave home after she graduates high school — there’s too many things that haunt her there. She’s lined up a nanny job with a picture perfect family across the country where she’ll also attend her freshman year of college. Immediately she gets along great with the Cohens and she absolutely adores the wife, Libby, who seems like a sister to her. It doesn’t stay perfect for long — Libby starts snapping on her and accusing her of things she knows she didn’t do (like staring flirtatiously at her husband). The job becomes more demanding and Libby seems to go from hot to cold easily and Annie finds her privacy suddenly stripped away when the door is taken away because Libby thinks it’s broken and needs to be repaired. Annie finds herself struggling to keep up and on Libby’s good side but has a hard time staying afloat as she becomes more and more suspicious of Libby and also haunted by her past.

I have beyond complicated thoughts right now about The Ruining. My whole brain is just feeling like it’s in a post night out drinking haze where I’m like “How did I get into bed with my shoes still on, the key still in the door and why did I call Pizza Hut 50 times?” My brain is just reaaaaaching to find some clarity here so I can tell you about this book and my thoughts on it but the book was complicated. It’s complicated further by the fact that I can’t say TOO much or I will spoil it for you because it’s the kind of book that really relies on the element of the MindWTFery…like most psychological thriller type books.

The first 50-75% of this books was flipping fantastic for me! I was intrigued by Annie’s new life as a nanny and immediately I kept getting little pricks of “something isn’t right here!” within this picture perfect family and giddily awaited the potential MindWTFery. As the story progresses, my mind went into overdrive trying to figure out if the things that were happening in the story were real or if Annie was  crazy. I pretty much changed my theory every chapter as things escalated. Sometimes I thought Libby was a psycho and then other times Annie’s reactions to things were so extreme and then I would feel all suspicious of the family again….all to sit there and think, “I really have no idea because at the end of the day Annie seems like she could be a pretty unreliable narrator and now I feel crazy because I’m in her head.” The suspense was perfect and clever because you never felt completely sure what was going on and things just got crazier and crazier.

The part that really keeps from me RAVING, in the way I thought I would as I breezed through the first 75% of The Ruining, was the ending! It was a huge letdown. Friends, I am a HUGE lover of a good mind-you-know-what. I relish in them and am a psychological thriller junkie. And normally I never see it coming. And remember all those theories I told you I came up with? There were some I never wavered from because I felt so strongly about them and, honestly, a lot of them seemed so obvious. I kind of figured I would be wrong about them. But then unfortunately I was right about all of them. Admittedly, I DO guess things in books and movies but it’s quite rare in a really good psychological thriller that I do. I walk away stunned with the ending and my head spinning and this was not the case.

But not only did the actual ENDING let me down but the way the ending WAS just killed the mood. Through the first part of this book I was very on edge and feeling everything — that tension of truth and not truth was intense. But then the ending and the revelations were just so dull, rushed and anti-climactic. It wrapped up so quickly and without much oomph ( I wish I could explain more but I don’t want to give it away). Revelations were just sort of told rather than experienced and I kept thinking, “that’s all?” all the way up until the end. Resolutions happen very behind the scenes and we aren’t a part of it like we were in the beginning. I get WHY because of what’s happened to Annie but it just, for me personally, was a let down to how Anna Collomore had me feeling before.

Random but this also reminded me of a movie or something that I CANNOT for the life of me think of!

My feelings on The Ruining are so complicated. I very much enjoyed the ride of feeling like I couldn’t tell what was real or who was the crazy one in this story. I knew SOMETHING wasn’t right. The tension was perfect that I flew through. But then the ending…the execution and the conclusion of that last quarter of the book were just such a let down for me that I can’t really rave about this book as much as I would have had it stayed on par with what I came to expect or would have hoped for it. I’m a huge fan of the MindWTFery and maybe because I’ve read and watched so much of those psychologically jarring books/movies that I was hoping for something more WOW. It was pretty much the most obvious things and the storytelling  became dull compared to how fantastic it was before. If you are new to psychological thriller type books, I’d say you might like it compared to someone who has read a lot of them.


For Fans  Of: psychological type thrillers, MindWTFery, suspense, books dealing with mental illness, people who don’t mind a bit of predictability

Get Another Opinion: The Quiet Concert loved & gave it four stars!

The Ruining by Anna Collomore

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one?? Did you enjoy it/not enjoy it? Heard of it? If you have read it, did you find that your theories were right in the end? And what did you think about Owen? Because honestly he seemed charming but towards the end I was getting some controlling vibes. ALSO, have any of you ever been loving a book but then the end of the book is a complete let down for you?  Anybody have any good psychological thriller recs? I’m talking Fight Club-ish. 🙂

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’ve been so excited to read this. I’m a little sad that the ending seems anti-climatic, that’s something I really dislike in books, but I think I will still give it a try. I’m definitely intrigued by your descriptions of Mind WTFery[LOVE this] and I love books about mental illness[what does that say about me…].
    Great review. :]

    -Kait @ YA Vixens

    • I’ll be interested to see what you think! For others it wasn’t anti-climactic so maybe it won’t be for you! It was just, for me, in the way it was all revealed and told (which, to prevent spoilers, I can’t really explain) but I just felt very MEH about the ending because I guessed a lot of it anyways. I really hope you have a different experience because the rest of the book was such a ride to read!!

      I also love books about mental illness too! Who knows WHAT this says about us haha

      Thanks for the comment and for reading my review! Will be interested to see your thoughts when you read it!

  2. I may be using WTFery in my everyday language now. I really had high hopes for this one; it stinks that it didn’t turn out as good as you’d hoped and the ending was a let down! I really do love a good thriller, but never seem to read them. Go figure, right?

    • Haha I feel like I say WTFery every least once. Just practice using it in a sentence. 😛 Will has even started saying it. We’ll be at the grocery store and something strange will happen (because there are always strange ppl in the grocery store) and he will be all “what was that WTFery?” lol

      I feel the same way…I LOVE thrillers but I don’t read a ton of them. I think maybe because a lot of them disappoint and I hold high the ones that were AMAZING.

  3. AHHH I hate when that happens 🙁 🙁 🙁 The same thing kind of happened to me with Dance of Shadows. I was totally enjoying it and the ending just kind of ruined it instead of making it totally awesome. Sorry it was a bummer! You think it’s still worth reading??

    • I’ve never read Dance of the Shadows but I feel like I’ve heard that about it before!

      There were definitely other people who felt differently than me (I linked above to a review and I did see a slew of 4-5 star reviews on Goodreads) so you might feel differently! I think if you don’t read/watch a lot of psychological thrillers like this than you’ll have a better shot with it. AND, like I said, MOST of this book was really great! It just might have been a personal preference for me. If you see it at your library, I’d say give it a try because it’s short. But I wouldn’t buy it. Mostly because it’s the kind of book you’ll probably never read again as it hinges on that surprise element.

  4. Our reviews are like twins! We both loved the first 50-75%, went crazy long with Annie because we had no clue what to believe, and got all excited for a completely mind-blowing ending only to be completely let-down by how predictable and anti-climatic it was.

    The funny thing is, days later I’m STILL thinking about The Ruining! I might even give it a second go, to see if I can make more sense of it with a second try.

    Great review Jamie!

    • Kelly– I’m going over to check out your review now!! I’ve been dying to since I saw you posted it but I haaaaate reading reviews before mine is completely done! But it sounds as if we were already on the same page!!

      And I TOTALLY get what you mean…like that mindblowing first part of it I keep thinking about…and it makes it SO hard for me to separate my thoughts because that part of the book and the ending seemed like two very different things for me! I’ll be really interested to see what you think if you reread it!

  5. I usually stray away from these kind of books because I’m admittedly a wimp! I don’t like being freaked out. Growing up, my family was completely the opposite and loved a great thriller! (They still do!) I might give this book a try because I don’t think it’s super scary (is it?) and I am intrigued by the plot.

  6. Great Review! I can definitely see where you are coming from with the ending not being as good as the beginning. I flew threw the entire book and did enjoy it but found some flaws. I do not typically read a lot of psychological thrillers, so I may not be as critical yet.

    what did I think about Owen?

    At first I really liked him, but kind of thought their relationship got super intense super quick, which I usually am not a fan of. But at the end, I started to really doubt what I thought about Owen. Especially after the Doctor starts to ask questions.

    Nicole and I both read the book and had some similar thoughts, my biggest issue is the ending. I would have liked a bit more of a conclusion and assurance of Annie’s mental state.

  7. I have heard mixed things on this book. So I will wait and see if I really want to read it. I love being mind blown but not like what’s wrong with the book wrong lol 🙂

  8. This is the challenge with psychological thrillers, Jamie, because for them to be totally amazing the ending has to come out of nowhere and slap you right in the face. And in this case it sounds like that didn’t happen. I’m reminded of the movie Black Swan (amazing if you haven’t seen it) in that you don’t know if the narrator is genuinely crazy or if super crazy stuff is happening all around him/her. And I love those types of stories — the unpredictability of them, all the theories and guessing — it really breaks a mental sweat! It’s just a shame that the ending to this book didn’t quite follow through in a satisfying way. I think that’s got to be the biggest downer of all.

  9. “For fans of: psychological type thrillers, MindWTFery, suspense, books dealing with mental illness.” UM THIS IS TOTALLY ME. I’m excited to read this book because it has everything I like in YA. I’m disappointed to hear that the ending was a letdown, though. I hate when that happens. :/

  10. I just read your first paragraph out loud because my husband asked me why I just randomly started laughing out of nowhere! Anyway, sad this book had an anticlimatic ending – I’ll probably make this a grab from the library if I happen to find it kind of read.

  11. Hm I’m still looking forward to reading it and hopefully I’ll be taken by surprise. I kind of hate it when the ending is a letdown.

  12. It is such a shame when the end of a book is a huge let down. It sounds like the most of this was fantastic!

  13. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. It sounds really great and like you, I do love psychological thrillers. I’m just sad that the end didn’t work as well—everyone definitely agrees on that point. But I figure that maybe (?) the brilliant first half will make up for the less than spectacular opening. Or, that’s what I’m hoping.

  14. There’s nothing worse than when a book’s beginning is awesome and the conclusion is disappointing. I’ve heard great things about this book overall, but I’ve also heard from a few other trusted sources that the ending is rushed, so I’ll go into this with moderate expectations. And that’s also disappointing that you had predicted the ending as well! I’ve heard it’s unpredictable and out of left field, so I got excited, but now I’m a bit nervous, considering the fact that it’s generally very easy for me to pinpoint a twist far before it happens. Still, I’ll be reading this one, but will go in with more moderate expectations concerning the ending. Great review!

    Unrelated: Is the movie by any chance The Uninvited? I know this is a long shot but I got an Uninvited vibe from both the synopsis, and your review.

  15. Oh my gosh, thrillers just absolutely tear my nerves up. Seriously, my heart has been pounding just reading this blog post. I don’t know why. I’m such a weirdo! But honestly what a bummer about the first part and then the ending being a letdown and feeling rushed. When I *do* read thrillers (I try to be well-rounded, ya know!) I want them to be thrilling all the way thru. And like you, I tend to be one that can anticipate things in books and movies, but in thrillers I don’t always figure things out. So I can totally understand that twinge of disappointment you’re feeling. Better luck with the next thriller-y book, Jamie!